Common name: Butterfishes, Scats


Cite this page as:
Scats, SCATOPHAGIDAE in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 May 2024,

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Family Taxonomy

The family contains two species belonging to two genera, although it is likely that there are additional species.The scats were treated by Weber & de Beaufort (1936), who also provided illustrations of the two Australian species. Australian species are also treated in Kottelat (2001a). Colour illustrations were included by Steene (1978).

Family Distribution

The family is widespread in the tropical Indo-west Pacific. Scats occur in mangrove, estuarine and inshore habitats; they also penetrate the lower reaches of freshwater streams.

Family Description

The body is ovate and laterally compressed, similar in shape to butterfly fishes (Chaetodontidae).

Family Size

Maximum size ranges between 250 and 300 mm.


Kottelat, M. (2001). Scatophagidae.  pp. 3623–3626 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds) The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes.  Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381–4218

Steene, R.C. (1978). Butterfly and Angelfishes of the World. Australia. Sydney : A.H. & A.W. Reed Vol. 1 144 pp. 216 figs

Weber, M. & Beaufort, L.F. de (1936). The Fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago. Perciformes (continued).  Leiden : Brill Vol. 7 607 pp. 106 figs